How to manage your fire measures in accommodation settings

During the current climate, it can be extremely difficult to keep on top of your fire safety measures but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to be carried out. With local lockdowns across the UK and restrictions on mixing with other households, it can be a tricky task to assess the fire measures if your setting is occupied with tenants, guests, or residents.

Our experts have put this article together to ensure you are doing everything you can to protect your occupants as best you can no matter what your accommodation setting is.

Fire Risk Assessments

A fire risk assessment is a legal duty that needs to be carried out if you have people using your premises. The assessment, if done correctly, will help reduce the risk from fire to protect your business and any person(s) using your facilities.

It is important that you regularly review your risk assessment and keep it up to date because failure to do so could be putting your people and business at risk.

Carrying out a fire risk assessment doesn’t just involve inspecting your fire equipment, it involves minimising the risk of fire, ensuring adequate provisions are in place to raise the alarm, and that people can escape to a place of safety in the event a fire. You must also ensure all employees with fire safety responsibilities are provided with adequate fire safety training.

To make sure you’re doing everything you can to guarantee the safety of everyone on your premises, head here for more information.

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Your responsibilities

Not only do you have to focus on your day-to-day requirements like completing maintenance on your premises, collecting rent (if you’re a landlord), ensuring all training of employees is up to date etc. but you must also;

  • regularly review your fire risk assessment of your setting.
  • ensure all your employees are aware of the risks you identified during the fire risk assessment.
  • put in place and maintain adequate fire prevention measures and communicate these to all employees based on your fire risk assessment findings.
  • make sure you have a proper plan in place for the event of an emergency.
  • keep your employees up to date with relevant information, training, and fire safety instructions.

Evacuation procedures

Once you’ve identified fire hazards, you should recognise who could be at risk. To do this, you should work your way through questions like:

  • Can all employees/tenants/residents/guests react quickly to a fire or an alarm?
  • Is anyone (employees, visitors, or contractors) working in a high fire risk area?
  • Could a fire outbreak impact any other children, residents, tenants, employees, or those in the vicinity?
  • Have you created a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) for vulnerable individuals in your setting?
  • Is everyone able to reach escape routes safely?
  • Do you have sufficient staff on duty during night-time hours to implement the emergency procedures? If not, what additional measure do you have in place?
  • Are drills practiced with both normal and minimum staffing levels to ensure that your evacuation plan works?

For more information on how to conduct a fire risk assessment and implement the correct evacuation procedure depending on your setting, read our free guide here.

Landlord information

As a landlord, you must give 24 hours’ notice to tenants if you need to inspect or carry out repairs on the property (unless it’s for emergency repairs). It’s important to also note that you’re responsible for repairs to the outside of the property or structure (walls, chimney, roof, guttering, drains and maintenance of the gas, water, and electricity supply).

You are also responsible for:

  • heating/hot water systems.
  • maintenance of communal (shared) areas.
  • ensuring the furniture provided meets British fire standards.
  • that there are working smoke alarms in the property.
  • that gas appliances such as fires, cookers, and boilers all have Gas Safe certificates.

Other things to look out for

Once you’ve conducted your essential fire safety measures, there may be some other risk factors in your setting that need your attention.

If you manage a residential setting with an on-site kitchen or laundrette, there are extra precautions to guarantee the safety of everyone on your premises.

Do you have a night-time routine where a responsible person does a visual inspection of the premises to make sure there’s no exposure to risk? Examples include turning off portable heaters, checking cookers are turned off, as well as dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers, plus closing internal doors to prevent the spread of a fire.

Portable Appliance Testing

Have you thought about when your portable electrical equipment was last checked?

If you have people using portable electrical equipment on your premises whether they’re employees, residents, or guests, you’re responsible for checking your appliances to ensure the safety of everyone. Periodic inspections and testing come under legal requirements which you need to abide by. These include;

  • Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment regulations of 1998
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work regulations of 1999

It’s also important to make sure that all employees or occupants are aware of how to cook safely and if they’re not, you should provide clear warning signs and/or instructions to protect themselves. Examples could include instructions not to wear loose clothing, keeping tea towels away from the cooker and hob, ensuring pan handles aren’t sticking out etc. For guidance on specific equipment, visit Firesafe.org.

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How Citation Fire & Electrical can help

We are a trusted, nationwide provider for all your fire and electrical safety needs.

To help manage your fire measures in your accommodation setting, we’ll conduct a review of your existing fire hazards and explain the risks and how to control them. We’ll then create an action plan for you and give your premises an overall risk rating.

Our end goal is to make sure your setting is fire-safe and meeting your legal obligations, but it doesn’t stop there. We also offer ongoing checks on all your fire safety equipment – like extinguishers, alarms, and emergency lighting so you have peace of mind that you’re in good hands.

We pride ourselves on providing our clients with a 100% reliable service. We uphold rigorous standards, and our processes are continuously audited to make sure that you receive the same quality service every time. We know our stuff and we’re here to put your mind at ease from the very start. To book a Fire Risk Assessment or for free advice, contact our service team here.